Seaweed sausages, cheesy Welsh cakes and boozy biscuits – three local food treats with a difference that could soon be in production in North East Wales.
The local delicacies have been cooked up by the team at The Food Technology Centre in Llangefni, for North East Wales Local Action Groups’ Concept to Consumer project with the aim of developing a menu of tasty new regional products.
Now Corwen-based regional regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd, who commissioned the project, want to hear from potential producers across rural Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.
They want to help them choose and develop exciting new food specialties and put them on the shelves of shops in the region.
Lamb and laverbread seaweed along with cheese and leek Welsh cakes and biscuits made from the leftover grain from the many micro-breweries now operating in the area are the first recipes they have developed.
Cadwyn Clwyd called in the Centre’s experts at Grwp Llandrillo Menai, Llangefni, to devise a range of nine new products that could be made by artisan producers across rural Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.
Donna Hughes, Business Partnerships Officer for Cadwyn Clwyd, said: “We wanted to find products that could be taken up by established micro-businesses or new start-ups.
“One of the key themes is to look at food trends and how we can implement new products in a sustainable and tasty way – we also wanted to tap into the flexitarian market where people still want to eat meat but want to reduce their consumption.”
Ann-Marie Flinn, Technical Manager at The Food Technology Centre, said: “The products are the first phase of a two-year project, for which we took into account the overall market trends.
“We are presenting these products from the shortlisted range of nine products. It is a great opportunity for producers in the Cadwyn Clwyd area to benefit from the upfront development.
“The recipes are adaptable and the team at the Centre will then work with the selected producers to help bring them to market though the Welsh Government (EU) funded Project HELIX.
“We looked at products that were of the area and innovative and in the case of the sausages we have looked at using lamb in combinations with a range of green proteins including spinach, kale and edamame beans.
“The Welsh cakes are a savoury twist on an old favourite and cheese and leeks is a perfect combination while the micro-brewing industry has boomed and making biscuits from the grain that would otherwise have gone for pig feed is a tasty and sustainable idea.”
Coleg Menai will produce another six products for Cadwyn Clwyd, the project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government as part of a six-year plan to revitalise rural communities and their economies.
It is one of the LEADER projects run by Cadwyn Clwyd which involve Local Action Groups (LAGs) made up of representatives from across the rural areas of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham who have the final say on funding.
Artisan chocolatier Jo Edwards, of Aballu Chocolate, in Rossett, is a member of the Wrexham LAG who set up her own food business 12 years ago.
She said: “The product needs to be something that is going to be sustainable for a business, not just flavour of the month.
“I like the ideas they have come up with at Llangefni and I think they are products which can be sourced locally in North East Wales and made and marketed here as a real flavour of the region.”
Anyone interested in getting involved in the food project as a producer should contact Donna Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01490 340500.